Small worlds, big storage needed: how to store your dollhouses, miniatures and dioramas

The world of miniatures is a fascinating one. There is something so meditative in creating the smallest, most detailed of objects. Miniature-making has been seen throughout history , from the Elizabethan miniature portraits to the 17th-century Dutch dollhouses, like that of Petronella Oortman which currently resides in the Rijksmuseum. However, whether you have a model railroad, refurbish dollhouses, or play Warhammer, here are some tips on how to best preserve your miniatures.

Create an inventory

This is particularly important for those who make or purchase miniature figurines which will need to be retrieved easily. Just a few simple categories are needed — like type, location (i.e. which box/drawer), group, and a brief description. However, an inventory is an effective and visually satisfying step for all those who collect miniatures. While an excel sheet may not seem like a fun project for most, perhaps blog posts furnishing details of your projects would be a fun endeavour. You could also note down the number of materials used, any problems you ran into, and their solutions. You can even make an inventory sheet for some of your materials, noting how much of it is left and where they are stored.

Find a storage system that works for you

The most common way of storing miniature figurines is to use containers and “Pick and pluck” foam if pre-made inserts are not available. You can place some modular drawers and storage bins to store your tools which will prevent you from having to search for things when you are in the zone. For bigger miniatures like dioramas or dollhouses, a display shelf or case is often needed, you could always get extra storage. Here at Storefriendly our smallest (and cheapest) options are lockers, which measure at W1.2m x D1.2m x H1.2m. This can fit 6 to 8 Storefriendly sized boxes, or a decent number of miniatures. However, if you want to start building that massive project you have been planning for years and need to upgrade your storage, you can do so at any time! We offer a non-binding contract, so you can move to bigger storage at a moment’s notice.

Getting rid of (dust) bunnies

Keeping your collection dust-free is the perennial headache of every miniature enthusiast. For bigger layouts, air compressors can get the dust out of nooks and crevices, with a little bit of water from a spray bottle. However, if you have anything wooden (i.e., houses in a model railroad), make sure the water does not get on them. Sponges or paintbrushes can also help reach into awkward spots.

While it may seem like a hassle to go to such trouble to store and clean your miniatures, all this is not only for your enjoyment but so that you may pass them to your future children, much like Petronella did.